Wednesday, July 13, 2011

We bought the Baloney in Bologna

portico & Porters
As a transition from the extremely unique Venice and Cinque Terre, we choose Bologna. That has proved to be a good choice. The city is gorgeous! Bologna fun facts:
  • Oldest university in the world, University of Bologna, founded in 1088.
  • America's baloney is somewhat similar to the Italian mortadella (a finely hashed/ground pork sausage containing cubes of lard. 
  • The statue in the square was considered so risque the church covered up his man bits
  • Tortellini and rag├╣ alla bolognese are from here
  • The city has many porticoes (covered walkways). The reason they are so common is because they were primarily offered as a tax incentive to estate developers because it was considered a service to the town. Some of the richest families chose to build without porticoes to prove their status.
  • It is informally the culinary capital of Italy, nicknamed -Bologna la grassa ("Bologna the fat")
  • The market in the city center is one of the largest in Europe
Creepy Restaurant sign

Local specialties include:
  • Tortellini in brodo- Meat tortellini in a broth
  • Tagliatelle al ragu- pasta with meat sauce
  • Lasagna Verde alla Bolognese- Lasagna composed of green spinach pasta sheets with meat ragu and a cream bechamel sauce
  • Mortadella- Pink Italian sausage often served in sandwiches or before meals
  • Bollito- Boiled beef
  • Zuppa Inglese- A colorful dessert of cake and cream
  • 1st Bologna gelato
  • Mascarpone- A very creamy and sweet cheese dessert

However, on our walk back to our hotel several weird things happened:
  • Persistant beggar that would not take "no!"for an answer
  • Meditation on the steps of the cathedral (St. Petronio) held by American teen with translator
  • Woman asks the classic "Do speak English?" and proceeds to tell us she needs money for an "exam"
  • Foot Locker salesman barking at passerby and holding a small megaphone to his crotch
Square, risque statue, and site of our many mallings
We also just discovered "Aperitivo" or Italy's version of Happy Hour. Every night between around 7 and 8:30 most of the bars and lounges host a complimentary buffet of sandwiches, salads, and appetizers with drinks. Plans for tonight- done.

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    We're Back in Berlin Ja!

    We're Back in Berlin Ja!
    ebe & ian at Yak-toberfest 2008